Ital

Jamaican/Rastafari word for VITAL, ORGANIC, NATURAL, WHOLESOME… real roots


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Quick DIY Fix: Flower holder

I’m always picking flowers and bushes from outside and placing them in random jars and bottles around the house. This blue bunch is so beautiful that I wanted to complement them with a holder that also had that special touch.

I love having them even more now because my Chunky baby can identify it and makes the smelling face and F sound to point them out. Too cute.

Wrap an old bottle with scrap cloth for this simple way to decorate while recycling. I used Sticky Tack to keep the fabric in place but as you can see, it can be fastened with ease; try 2 elastic bands at each end, glue or electric tape

Great way to recycle and these wrapped bottles can serve many different uses.

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Second-hand isn’t so bad after all

I love getting a good deal! Flea markets are the one place I go and spend all loosey-goosey, buy a lot of things and still only spend R250 (about US$25).  Now that I’m in Johannesburg, the opportunities are here for me to go thrift/charity shops, farmers and flea markets- i’m going to start making more use of them.

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I strongly feel that our commodity driven world produces too much waste and surplus. When we want a product we want it brand new when there are many of the same, at great quality, lying unused by people who have cared for them. We also want to peel off the plastic, take out the packaging- all of which we throw away immediately. Reduce, reuse, recycle, upcycle…. Call it what you will. Saving things from garbage dumps and landfills when they can still do a job is making me my own little Captain Planet taking pollution down to zero.

The flea market in the parking lot of the Emmarentia Checkers every first and last Sunday has some great finds every time we go there.

Flea market buys

I could not pass up these four bowls at R20 for the set!  The wooden plate was from the same man who had much more electrical nick nacks, nails, screws than the pieces I got from him. He told me that he was a fridge repairman and he used to plant beautiful plant in clay pots for people but the fridge repair business was going so well that he didn’t have much time for that now.

Just like him, I found this basket at R10 with a lady whose main thing was books or US$. I’ll use it as a fruit basket. It came in handy when another seller told us she didn’t want to go home with the geranium and other plants she had and kindly gave them to us for nothing with instructions on how to plant.

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These ashtrays are well used but will serve their purpose nonetheless. The inscriptions are hard to make out but two of them say ‘Zulu’ and one says ‘Swazi’(we think) and an image of a person should be there.

These 3 books, even though old, will make great reading; history isn’t changing much 🙂  I like the idea of books being passed on because I like to think of who may have got some insight, education or strength before from that same one book. I appreciate the interconnectedness. This flask for my dad came from an old man named John and was the most expensive buy other than books- R50. I also got a waste basket for R20 from John too.

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I also left with 7 pop-up and pull-flap books for baby at R10 a pop. I will make sure to give them a thorough clean before they officially become his books I remember how nice it was to borrow or trade them growing up.

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What treasures have you found at flea markets, rummage sales and the likes?

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Amber Teething Necklaces

While babysitting over the past year in Austin, TX,  I have seen many youngsters wearing gorgeous amber necklaces. After seeing a few with them, I asked some of the parents more about them. They informed me that they are Amber Teething Necklaces and have helped their babies tremendously. I had never heard of them before so I decided to do some research. Please feel free to comment on this post with your feelings, experiences, or other helpful teething tips!
One of the online sellers, Bouncy Baby Boutique, explains their Baltic Amber Necklaces have a substance called succinic acid which is, “… a natural pain reliever, anti-inflammatory, and a central nervous system calmer. It is so effective on babies and small children because it simultaneously eases their pain while also having a strong soothing effect on their nervous system – all with zero side effects!”
Children are able to wear the necklaces around their neck, wrist, or ankle. The beads should touch the skin in order to be effective, but are NOT CHEWED ON. The amber necklaces are not recommended for children under the age of 3.  Another online retailer Amber Artisans, shares it’s list of  specific characteristics to look out for when buying:

1- The merchant guarantees that their amber is 100% genuine Baltic Amber. This can usually be found within the product description or the subpages of their website.

2- Be certain that the teething necklace is made with a safe clasp, one that is made of plastic and twists to open and close.

3- There can be no sharp edges whatsoever.

4- Genuine Baltic amber necklaces for teething are always designed with special string that is knotted between each bead so that if the necklace should be broken, the beads will not scatter. If this should occur, credible merchants should offer to restring the necklace for you at no charge. If they are unable to do so, then client service is not their priority and buying from them should not be yours.

5- Amber teething necklaces must be constructed of only the highest quality natural Baltic Amber which is what provides relief from your child’s teething pain. If the price is cheap, that should be a red flag. Amber is becoming more and more rare so online sellers will offer an “inexpensive” version such as copal which cannot produce the right results.

Of course you’re going to have those who don’t believe in the healing properties of stones and recommended other remedies. One such remedy is making chamomile tea using 2 teabags in one cup of water then adding 1/4 cup apple or grape juice to freeze in ice cube trays. Next wrap a few  ice cubes in a handkerchief, tie a big knot around them, and let the babies gnaw or suck on them. Another is  letting the baby chew on a wet washcloth placed in the freezer for 30 minutes (wash after each use). You could also rub the baby’s gums with a cool spoon. Try to avoid rubber or plastic teething rings because these synthetics can have potential hazardous impacts.
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Perfume and Purify Your Rooms With Essential Oils

Since having a baby I’ve been using few different methods to make use of essential oils and aromatherapy.

Method #1
Recycle an old jar by using it as your oil diffuser. Boil a bit of hot water, add to small amount to a cleaned jar. Add a few drops of your oil to the hot water. Let diffuse and inhale the goodness.

Method #2
I have a bunch of tea light candles and sometimes I put 2 drops of oil directly into the wax and light.

Method #3
Now that its winter in Jo’burg (winter in South Africa comes when its summer in the Western Hemisphere) we constantly have our heaters on. Put a few drops of your favourite essential oil on a few balls of cotton and place in a room out if reach of children. In winter you can place this cotton balls behind the warm part of your radiator.

Method #4
You can easily scent your fireplace with essential oils. Add a drop or two to a few logs prior to adding to the fire. Dont add the drops of oil directly into the fire as essential oils are inflammable.

Sources:

  • Aromatherapy and Massage For Mother and Baby, Allison England, 2000